Archive for February, 2011

‘Kintoki’ Japanese Cornel Is Perfect Fit for Small Urban Gardens

  ‘Kintoki’ summer foliage It’s a dogwood and comes close to being a plant that offers four seasons of landsape beauty. Kintoki Japanese cornel (Cornus officinalis ‘Kintoki’) is a special semi-dwarf 10-12 foot tall dogwood which fits into most small gardens. Kintoki’s bright yellow flowers open in early March in the Southern Appalachian region (USDA zones 6 and 7). […]

‘Sunsphere’ Japanese Cornel

  Japanese cornel (Cornus officinalis) is a tall shrub or small tree dogwood which matures to 20-25 feet in height and 15 feet in width. ‘Sunsphere’ Japanese cornel was discovered by Mike Stansberry, owner of  Beaver Creek Nursery in Knoxville, TN. Japanese cornel is the official start of spring in my garden, even though the calendar reads late […]

Edgeworthia Deserves A Try

Edgeworthia flowering in March garden First, I must thank South Carolina nurseryman, Mr. Ted Stephens, who gifted me  a Chinese paperbush (Edgeworthia chrysantha) nearly 6 years ago. Most plant authorities rate its winter hardiness to USDA zones 7 and 8. It struggled through its first winter and spring  in my zone 6-b garden, but has never disappointed. […]

Revitalize Pansies Now

Across many areas of the Southern Appalachian region (USDA zones 6 and 7) snowfall has been plentiful this winter, but total rainfall is below normal. It takes 10 inches of snow to equal one inch of rainfall. Fall planted pansies and violas are now both hungry and thirsty. Provide them with a shot of fertilizer and water. […]

Opening Show in February- The Witchhazels

First, not to confuse you, our North American native witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana) blooms in the fall. Our native vernal witchhazel (H. vernalis) has been flowering for the past few weeks. In February, the showiest witchhazels are opening now – species from China, Korea and Japan. Two of the very best are a Chinese species/cultivar called […]

Crabapple Shopping List

For those of you tired of the monotony of Bradford pears, go shopping for ornamental crabapples (Malus spp.). Most crabapple cultivars mature into long-lived small flowering trees less than 20 feet in height at maturity. Most fit under utility lines. Worldwide, there are over 400 cultivars of crabapples in nursery commerce. Most are susceptibility to […]

The Other Lenten Roses

In addition to the popular Oriental hellebore (H. x orientalis), four other species are hardy in the Southern Appalachian region (USDA hardiness zones 6 and 7).  Christmas rose (H. niger) is the first lenten rose to bloom, often 4-6 weeks earlier if mild December weather permits. The 3 ½- inch flowers are large and showy, […]

Lenten Roses Perk Up the February Garden

Lenten roses or hellebores (Helleborus spp.) are long-lived perennials, often surviving in the same garden spot for many years. Four species of Lenten roses grow in the Southern Appalachian region (USDA hardiness zones 6 and 7).  All thrive in shady garden recesses, exposed to as little as 3 – 4 hours of dappled sunlight. Numerous […]